Moog Opus-3

Moog Opus-3 Image

The Opus-3 is one great little synth. It was designed by Herbert A. Deutsch from Hofstra University who originally nudged Dr. Robert Moog into building synthesizers and later served as director of sales & marketing for Moog Music. Herb also wrote the owner's manual. The sounds are broken up into 3 categories: Strings, Brass and Organ. Strings and Brass have their own separate VCF (filter) sections, the Organ section has none. The Opus-3 also has 2 sound outputs for an early stereo effect with panning! It's a colorful little synth with clearly laid out sliders and is fairly straight forward. It has classic analog Moog sound quality and is a great source of some string and lower octave techno-organ sounds. It is used by Stereolab, Kraftwerk, Zonetech, 808 State and The Rentals.

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26 Visitor comments
i have a mullet
November 2, 2013 @ 1:33 pm
Peter.....sound really good, man. I'd love a diagram or two from someone who can chase electrons.

BTW, the Roland Jupiter 4 has stolen my heart away from my Opus 3. It'll have it's uses, but not nearly as many.
Opus pocus
October 20, 2013 @ 12:20 pm
Yo Peter Churchyard will you post your findings and results for making it more modular. I would love to patch this baby up to some external sounds, that slow chorus is awesome and would love to run some of my other gear through it....
Peter Churchyard
October 19, 2013 @ 2:56 pm
I got one off ebay and the decomposing foam was literally dripping out! After taking the sliders off the panel and taking them apart and cleaning them it works well. It has the classic ladder filter VCF and the bucket brigade delay lines used in the chorus unit. The sound generator is a divider organ. Top octave generator produces the 12 semi tones and each is fed into its own divider chain. So it is 49 note poly phonic. I am going to be adding insert points in the audio and control paths to make it more of a modular synth.
I have a Mullet
October 17, 2013 @ 6:31 pm
I bought an Opus on theBay for $600 plus shipping about 7 years ago (2004-5). To this day it stands in my lab as my favorite lead due to it's warmth and stereo mix. I friggin' love running it through my FX processor to get things bouncing around.

Now next week I will pick up my newly repaired JP4 and we'll see how the Opus fares. But always, two is better than one, between the sheets!
May 30, 2013 @ 5:45 am
Since it uses top octave divider technology, it is fully polyphonic. However, the VCF is common to the whole machine, so it doesn't have 49 completely separate voices like for instance a Korg PS-3100, 3200 or 3300.
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  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Demos & Media
  • YouTube Thumbnail
    Moog Opus3 Demo
    by legionhwp

    Manual - Read or download the complete and original owner's manual for the Opus-3 (in .pdf format).

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - YES
  • Oscillators - Strings, Brass, Organ
  • Memory - None
  • Filter - 2 VCF's (brass/strings) Hi/Low/Band pass
  • VCA - Level and Panning for each instrument
  • Keyboard - 49 keys
  • Arpeg/Seq - NO
  • Control - None
  • Date Produced - 1980
  • Resources & Credits
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